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Today marks the 30th — yes, 3-0 — birthday of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, two stars who’ve been setting trends since long before they began dodging the paparazzi and living in oversized outerwear. If you’re a child of the ‘90s, you’ve surely seen at least a few of the twins’ straight-to-video movies; Billboard Dad, perhaps, in which they scampered around in spaghetti strap tanks, beaded chokers, and round sunglasses that foreshadowed the ones they’d design for their fashion line The Row more than 15 years later. Or Holiday in the Sun, maybe, which featured a Fendi logo bucket hat and an ordinary bandana repurposed as a bikini top; though both seem ridiculous in retrospect, they were gotta-copy-it-level cool at the time. And throughout it all, the two sisters’ styles were always distinctly different, begging the question: Were you a Mary-Kate or an Ashley?
And then, of course, there was the Olsens’ time at NYU, during which hints of their current signature style began to emerge, from the modest hemlines and offbeat layering to the giant shades and Starbucks cups. Over the years that followed, this vibe grew more refined, the twins’ aesthetics became more and more similar, and they embarked on their new careers as designers. Below, a detailed timeline of the many, many looks they’ve launched over the years — most of which came long before MK&A accepted their first CFDA Award.